On a very soggy Oxford pitch, Celtic and Oxford battled to a one-all draw, ending both teams respective losing streaks.
A draw was probably a fair result, with chances shared between the two teams. Celtic started brightly going at the hosts from the off, and Ben McKenna's low cross was turned narrowly past his own post by Jose Lapoujade, with Charlie Ennis racing in just behind, and unable to reach the ball as it zipped past the post. Ennis got another chance moments later, but his drive didn't fox Mark Scott, who collected easily. At the other end, a Marlon Jackson run and shot was never going to trouble King.
However, in the next minute, Oxford broke quickly up field, with Marlon Jackson and Javier Rodriguez interchanging passes to wrong foot the Celtic defence, and the latter produced a scything shot that Lewis King had no chance of reaching to give the hosts the lead with their second effort of the game.
Some woeful finishing from Oxford meant Celtic were untroubled as they looked to get back into the game, and just moments after Ennis had blazed over, Ben McKenna burst into the box, rounded Scott, who brought McKenna down grasping only legs. No card was issued, but Liam Dickinson didn't let that worry him as he smashed his shot past Scott, who guessed correctly but could reach the ball due to the pace.
Oxford went looking for another early goal at the start of the second half, Marlon Jackson and Tom Winters both having shots that didn't trouble King. Scott, at the other end had more to do to deny Ennis, with a flying save from a close range power shot. Todd Jordan's twenty-five yard effort caught a little clip on route lifting it just over the bar. Oxford couldn't clear the corner, with it lobbed back into the mix, Dickinson headed past the defenders and Matt Regan diverted it goalwards, but Scott made the save.
At the other end, Paul Stonehouse fired goalwards, and King had to be well positioned to catch. Rodriguez got onto a scrambled ball in the box, which Celtic struggled to clear and Oxford struggled to put home, and his low shot came in, but Regan had followed him and the ball, and slid in to block superbly. Alex Mudimu could have become an instant hero when Ennis had been robbed in the box, the ball coming out to Mudimu, but his shot on the turn was just a little too high, and after Adi Yussuf's effort was caught at the near post by King, despite Celtic pressing, there was no further chances, and the game finished level.
Celtic move up to level on points with Gloucester, but it's a move in the right direction for a change.
|Del Alamo, Ander